For 13-year-old Daniel Whitecloud, all it took was a safe word.
The school day was over and Whitecloud, a seventh-grader living in Georgetown, Texas, was about to head home. When Whitecloud walked out of the school, he was greeted by a strange man who told him his mother had enlisted him to pick him up, according to KXAN-TV.
Unfazed, Whitecloud knew exactly what to do: he asked the man for his family’s “safe code,” a password his mother gave him for moments just like the one he was faced with.
“I’m glad that we were prepared for it, but I’m terrified that it might happen again or that it might happen to someone else,” said Whitecloud’s mother, Adrianna Eldredge.
Recalling the incident, Whitecloud told the local news station, “I thought he was going to get out of the car to try and snatch me, so I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it.’”
But when the would-be captor — a clean-shaven man in his 30s or 40s — didn’t know Whitecloud’s family’s “safe code,” he hurriedly drove away. As soon as he got home, the teenage student called the local police.
Law enforcement officers commended the family for having a “safe code” and is urging others to use the same safety trick.